I Used To Save Things For “Someday” When I’m Married — I Don’t Anymore

“Life is not tried, it is merely survived / If you’re standing outside the fire.” -Garth Brooks, 1993

I’ve lived a lot of my single life waiting for “someday.” I’ve tried dating apps, taken classes, accepted invitations to events from parties to panel discussions, scanned rooms for signs of unpartnered male life — all in pursuit of a future relationship, of someday. Ten years in, and I’m quite fed up with someday, honestly. It refuses to show up.
What bothers me isn’t really what I’ve done in search of someday, but instead the things I haven’t done because someday has taken its time. It’s a halting feeling, the idea that if you’re single, life somehow hasn’t really started yet. I’ve stopped myself from so much, thinking certain things were reserved for the version of me that was partnered, that they had to be saved like my Sunday best. I never wrote down a “when I’m married” to-do list, but there are just certain things people do when they’re married, and not before. An example? Do you wear a ring of any kind on your left ring finger, ever? I didn’t. As if a trendy ring stack from H&M was going to somehow confuse the relationship gods into thinking I was partnered. You guys, it’s fine…this is just the only finger they fit on.
I mentally saved so many things “until I get married,” because they were things I thought I should share with someone else. For some odd reason, I wasn’t enough on my own to enjoy them. On one hand, typing that out loud makes me feel stupid. But on the other, I’m proud of myself for eventually realizing that it was all bullshit. I don’t have to wait for someone else or a certain life status to do anything. If you’ve never been single well past the age you thought you’d be, this mental light-switch moment is hard to understand. For so long I let life glide by as good enough, because “someday” was so societally ingrained in my mind, and it was supposedly justaround the corner. Maybe I was a little slow on the uptake, but eventually I got where I needed to go.
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